[Following review written in 2017] Katong has always been known to be the area for foodies, lined with restaurants and cafes of varied charm and appeal. If you have yet to venture to Katong Square on 88 East Coast Road for a meal, it is about time to.
Located right at the front and ground level of Katong Square, you will find Stärker Bistro.
The bistro is an extension of Stärker Fresh Beer, offering German roasts and signatures, and is a space not quite any other in Singapore.
Now, look at this…
I would describe the bistro as having three varied dining spaces within a single huge place.
Firstly, even before entering the restaurant proper, you will see an al fresco dining area outside with covered umbrella seats, surrounded with plants and water feature on the side.
This section seems popular with the expats, or for those who would like to dine with some natural daylight. The place to chill-chill.
Upon walking in, you could almost imagine yourself entering a storybook.
The interior is designed to associate with its European roots, of provincial rustic décor with wooden tables, real stone walls, trees, hanging flowers over the balcony, and a wooden door in the middle.
Towards the back nearer the kitchen, there is a long bar with Stärker beer on tap, the vibes given are closer to what you expect from a drinking hole.
To create the look, the entire project is said to cost more than a million dollars and several months of planning.
Food wise, you can expect an extensive menu of German favourites such as Traditional Pork Knuckle marinated with a Stärker secret recipe for 24 hours, Roasted Pork Belly with sauerkraut and French mustard; Main Courses; Pastas such as King Prawn Pasta, Seafood Aglio Olio, Seafood Marinara, Vongole; Hand-crafted Pizzas, Appetizers of Fiery Wings; as well as sweet Desserts.
For seafood lovers, Stärker Bistro has also launched a dedicated Seafood Menu that you should probably get a few other people to share the bliss (and calories) with.
Here are some of the Seafood food items you can expect from this menu:
Ocean Galore ($93.80, serves 2-3 pax)
The seafood pot that is great for sharing with a group, super suitable to be paired with drinks to wind down the night.
A fresh Sri Lankan Crab (of about 600-700grams or so) takes centrestage on top, with an assortment from Tiger Prawns, Clams, Fresh Squid beneath.
The ingredients are sautéed in fragrant home-made parmesan garlic butter, and the result is a creamy, velvety sauce base. Pick up a chunky crab claw, dip the flesh further into the white sauce, wipe it up, and savour every bite.
Note: The Ocean Galore is available in limited quantities and seafood is live and topped up daily, and it will be best to pre-order in advance.
Seafood Platter ($56.80, serves 2-3 pax)
Compared to the Ocean Galore, this Seafood Platter use a tangier tomato sauce base.
I would liken this to Seafood Marinara meets Cheese Baked Rice. The base of the pot filled with a bed of aromatic herbed garlic rice, then topped with sautéed seafood of Tiger Prawns, Clams, Green Mussels and Squid, sprinkled with mozzarella then baked.
The dish was then served with a golden fried Soft Shell Crab like a crown. Recommendation: don’t take too long with pictures, and consume while it is hot.
Pull up some of the toppings for some cheese stretch, or mix everything all up for a flavourful treat.
Seafood Stew ($36.80)
While I didn’t think this dish was as photogenic as the rest, it was however my favourite from the Seafood Menu.
You get marinated Seabass Fillet, Tiger Prawns, Clams and Squid sautéed with sliced garlic, bird’s eye chilli and cherry tomatoes.
The base was what appealed to me, with seafood stock simmered with cherry tomatoes and white-wine for a savoury, tangy-sweet stew. Great pairing with the toasted garlic toast served on side.
Lobster Roll ($36.80)
Instead of one, you get two. My understanding is most diners come to Stärker Bistro in groups, and plating the rolls in pairs also allows for easy sharing.
What I enjoyed were the fluffy and buttery toasted buns, sandwiched with crunchy sweet lobster meat and further topped with cherry tomatoes and red radish tossed in a homemade dressing.
There is addition of mesclun salad with balsamic dressing and golden truffle fries served on the side – that you should find it pleasurable to nibble with drinks.
Buns On Fire ($28.80)
Our local favourite of chilli crabs given a different spin. You know how we often like to dip mantou in the chilli crab sauce?
This time, you get the fresh crab meat with just a trace of spiciness stuffed into pipping hot and slight crispy buns. A fun way to eat chilli crabs without that mess.
Also served with truffle shoe string fries and salad on side.
The Stärker Seafood menu is available at both Katong Square and HillV2 – for those nearer the Bukit Timah and west side.
Also look forward to sweet treats such as Crème Brulee, Molten Chocolate Lava Cake and Apple Strudel.
Complete with 5 unique German-style beer, freshly brewed in Singapore, from the classic to unique flavours of Lager, Dunkel, Charcoal, Aromatic and Lychee.
Do you know that Starker means ‘stronger’? The vibes are strong on this one.
Stärker Bistro, Katong Square
88 East Coast Road #01-15/16, S423371
Tel: +65 6344 0025
Opening Hours: 12:00pm – 12:00am Daily, Last Order Mains 10:00pm, Snacks 11:30pm
Stärker Bistro, HillV2
4 Hill View Rise #01-02, S667979
Tel: +65 6336 8550
Opening Hours: 12:00pm – 12:00am, Last Order Main 9:45pm (Sun – Thurs, PH), 12:00pm – 1:00am Last Order Main 10:15pm (Fri – Sat, Eve of PH)
Stärker Bistro, Zhongshan Park
1 Jalan Rajah #01-02, S329133
Tel: +65 6734 1810
Opening Hours: 3:00pm – 2:00am (Sun – Thurs, PH), 3:00pm – 3:00am (Fri – Sat, Eve of PH)
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with Stärker Bistro.